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Griquas must not allow Cheetahs to spoil their SA Cup home final plans

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In a critical encounter, the Northern Cape team will travel to their Central Region neighbours. Despite not being able to reach the final themselves, the hosts aim to upset the top-ranked Griquas and, in the process, do the Airlink Pumas a significant favour.

Cameron Hufke is seen running with the ball to score against the SWD Eagles on Saturday. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The SA Cup is approaching its decisive phase, and this Friday will witness the top four teams on the competition log battling it out.

The two finalists, along with the venue for the final, will emerge by day’s end. The Suzuki Griquas, currently leading the table, will face off against the fourth-placed Toyota Cheetahs.

In a critical encounter, the Northern Cape team will travel to their Central Region neighbours. Despite not being able to reach the final themselves, the hosts aim to upset the top-ranked Griquas and, in the process, do the Airlink Pumas a significant favour.

Should the Cheetahs win and deny Griquas any log points, the Pumas can still finish at the top of the log. However, victory or a draw for the Peacock Blues will secure them a home final, and they will look to seal the deal and give their supporters something to look forward to on the last weekend in May.

Meanwhile, the Pumas, in the second spot, will take on the NovaVit Griffons, who occupy third place in Friday’s other match that kicks off an hour later.

The Pumas will host the Griffons in a showdown where victory could catapult either team into title contention. Both teams, having lost just one league game each, understand the significance of this encounter.

If Griquas stumble, a victory for the Pumas would result in both teams finishing with the same number of log points. The narrow points difference of only three points would then come into play.

Despite its small margin, this win should secure a home final for the team from Mpumalanga.

Last week, at Suzuki Park in Kimberley, Griquas were reminded that they still need to fight tooth and nail to secure a home final when they faced off against the SWD Eagles in a gripping showdown.

The match kept fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish. The Eagles surprised Griquas by swiftly notching up points within the first four minutes, capitalising on their precision out wide.

In a testament to their resilience, both sides battled fiercely until the final whistle, but it was the Griquas who emerged victorious in the end, ultimately securing a hard-fought 75-53 triumph.

Despite the formidable challenge posed by the Eagles, the Griquas’ unwavering determination and clinical execution proved decisive in securing another crucial victory on their path to SA Cup glory.

This weekend though, only one log point behind the Pumas, the team from the Northern Free State will look to showcase their talents and book a spot in the final, but the Griffons will know that victory against the powerful Pumas is the only way forward for them.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the action continues with two matches. Firstly, the Phangela SWD Eagles, positioned sixth, will host the Leopards, currently in ninth place, at Outeniqua Park, where both teams are locked in a battle for a mid-table finish.

Elsewhere, the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers will clash with Eastern Province in Piketberg. The Gqeberha-based side aim to climb two places on the log and finish sixth, just one position behind Boland, who are guaranteed to remain in fifth place regardless of the outcome.

Wrapping up the week’s fixtures, the Border Bulldogs will square off against the Valke, aiming to conclude their season on a positive note and secure valuable points.

Sharing 13 log points with the Eagles and Eastern Province, they also harbour hopes of achieving a sixth-place finish.

SA Cup Weekend Fixtures:

Toyota Cheetahs vs Suzuki Griquas

Date: Friday, 17 May at 6pm

Venue: Shimla Park, Bloemfontein

Referee: AJ Jacobs

TV: SuperSport Variety 4 (209)

Airlink Pumas vs NovaVit Griffons

Date: Friday, 17 May at 7pm

Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Referee: Sean Muller

TV: SuperSport OTT 1 (244)

Phangela SWD Eagles vs Leopards

Date: Saturday, 18 May at 2.30pm

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George

Referee: Dylen November

TV: SuperSport OTT 5 (245)

Sanlam Boland Kavaliers vs Eastern Province

Date: Saturday, 11 May at 3pm

Venue: Rhino Park, Piketberg

Referee: Paul Mente

TV: SuperSport OTT 1 (244)

Border Bulldogs vs Valke

Date: Sunday, 19 May at 2pm

Venue: Police Park, East London

Referee: Ruhan Meiring

TV: SuperSport Rugby (211)

SA Rugby

and Danie van der Lith

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